The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.Proverbs 10:22
I don’t know if this makes sense to you, but I honestly wish my parents were around to counsel me and advise me on love, sex and relationships. While I didn’t know my mum, she died when I was a baby, my dad passed on when I was 11years old. So, I never got around to having that adulting discussion with them. On the other hand, having lived with several relatives, one or two of them eventually spoke to me about relationships… not necessarily some deep, bonding tete-a-tete kinda discussion, you know. More like,
“Oh! You know you are a teenager now, you will get pregnant if a man touches you, so don’t let a man touch you.”
So, I grew up learning about love, sex, friendship, heartbreak, marriage on the go. For my siblings, they were mostly protective of me and wouldn’t tell me some hard or harsh facts about a relationship… I wish they told me.
I recommend that, instead of just telling a growing child, “Don’t have sex.” Tell them why they shouldn’t. Tell them the pros and the cons, Tell them the consequences, both with scriptures and real-life situations. I remember someone telling me why I shouldn’t date married men, just because she felt insecure in her marriage… a story for another day. I can still remember vividly how I will often be corrected thus; “Is this what you will do in your husband’s house?” I was never thought that my husband’s house is my house too… oh! I was never thought what to expect from my husband, but I was constantly reminded of how to be the perfect wife.
So I carried this training and mindset into relationships as I grew older that… if I will say, didn’t work. Now, having gone through singlehood, been married and divorced, and single again, I have learned and unlearned some things I was taught growing up and I’m sharing them with you.
10 Things I Learned and Unlearned About Relationships and Marriage
- Men Don’t “ALWAYS” Like (appreciate) Good Girls: This reminds me of “Why Men Marry Bitches” by Steve Harvey. I can’t even summarise the contents of that book on this post, so I suggest you go read or re-read it… if you have to; but I unlearned the fact that men like good girls. No. They may marry a good girl… that they can keep at home, but when they decide they want to cheat on you, they don’t look for good girls. They look for “bitches”. The girls who will order them around, make money demands on them (oh! and they won’t call them gold-diggers), the ones they know that, if they mess around, they will dump them for the next man who can pay and treat them better. Numerous times I’ve read stories of ladies who will cook, clean, and do everything that we were thought to do as women, and yet, the men will still leave them for someone who didn’t even put in any effort. This is what made me come to this conclusion. A man will not stay with you because you are a good girl, it’s either because he wants to or not.
- Sticking With A Broke Guy (Who Is Not Your Husband Already) Is A Trap: The bible says, “there is no food for an idle man”. Over the years, I have grown tired of women being constantly told, “women like ready-made men” “women like money” “which woman will stick with a broke guy?”. Well, men who reason like this need to grow up. First of all, if you are broke, you have no business looking for a girlfriend or wife. Even in the bible, God first gave Adam a job-the responsibility of managing the garden of Eden, long before he decided he was lonely and needed help and company. Go get a job or start a business first, add value to yourself first before you start looking for a wife/girlfriend. Besides, many broke guys leave the lady who stuck with them when they were nothing… only very few eventually marry them. So ladies, if you don’t have the patience to stick with a broke guy, especially when you are not already married, please don’t. Oh! I’ve been with broke guys before, and my best experiences in relationships were not from broke guys. Thank you! Uhhhmmmm… don’t even ask why I didn’t marry any of them, well… not all relationships lead to marriage. So many women have unknowingly married lazy unproductive men as a result of this. Many have been blackmailed into marriage because they didn’t want to be seen as gold diggers… until they realized that they were not just broke men, but men who are lazy, who can’t produce wealth or support their family.
- Always Look Out For Yourself: OK. This may sound selfish, but please do look out for yourself. I mean, your partner is essential, but if your being together is not good for you, then by all means do not stay. Now ‘being good’ can be relative. You’ve not said for “better for worse” yet and you are already enduring physical, emotional, and/or verbal abuse? No! darling. You’ve got to walk away from that. PERIOD!
- Women Are Always At the ‘Loose’ End: This alone is why you should look out for yourself. For Instance, if you have sex, who is going to carry the baby if sperm get fertilized? You. Who will be stigmatized by society? You. Who has a 90% chance of raising that child alone? You. Who will struggle more to provide, defend and protect yourself and your child? You. Whose body will be changed by childbirth? You. Who will leave her family, change her name to be with a man? You. Now I know that this may not be a general analysis, but most times, women stand the risk of bearing much of the aftermath of a failed marriage or relationship. So please, look out for yourself. Always ask, “Is he really worth these sacrifices?”
- Don’t Manage If You Don’t Like Something: I understand the place of patience, compromise, and tolerance in relationships, so don’t get it twisted. I’m not some cruel heartless chic. However, I mean if you are seeing some *red signs*, you know, those things that you know are a “No! No!” for you, please don’t try to manage it for whatever reason.
Don’t say, “Oh… He’ll change. I’ll just give him some time. He’ll change over the years.” or “I’ll change him.” Girlfriend, you are not the Holy Spirit. Only Him can change a man. So stop and get out!
6. Marriage Is Not Your Most Important Achievement As A Woman: Transfer the energy you use for searching for Mr. Right to fulfilling your business, work, and career goals. I wish I knew this before I got married. I grew up hearing so much of “When you get married’, “Is this how you will take care of your home/husband”, that as an African (Nigerian) woman, you will think that your biggest achievement was to get married. So you jump in to avoid “your time has passed” syndrome and then, boom! You realize you have made the biggest mistake of your life. Go get that degree! Launch that business! Go get that bag!
7. Love Is A Duty & An Action Word, Not “Just” An Emotion: So I know there is the attraction we see when we meet someone we like, there is that feeling you really can’t explain when they are around you and all… that thing, whatever it is… is not to love. Love is a doing word. Love is accompanied by giving (any kind), friendship, care, being affectionate, emotional tolerance, etc. Love is a lot of things and feelings are just the least of it. because when push comes to shove, you get to think, “I thought you loved me.” Ever wondered what happened? When the other person withdraws their actions of love, love disappears… so it is beyond emotions. So if someone is telling you, “I love you and s/he is not backing it up with actions” you need to take off.
8. You are more than a home-maker: From having kids to running our homes, women can be much more than that. Money has no sex! You can be a multimillionaire and still marry the love of your life. You don’t need to lower your standards or abandon your dreams just to fit into the box of an insecure man or one with no ambition. Someone who loves you will support you and help you become the best version of yourself not stop you.
9. If it’s not right before God, you are highly at risk: So I’ve been to a couple of singles’ meetings and also read on social media as well – and I hear /read the most ridiculous stories or questions people ask about relationships… questions they already know the answer, but their emotions won’t let them make a decision, so they seek for a way out by asking these questions or telling these stories, with the hope that someone will encourage them to keep going in that dangerous path. You need to understand that you are a Kings’ kid. You are the apple of God’s eye. Anyone who makes you feel anything less than that is not right for you. I don’t care what you tell me. Same way, you should make your partner a priority too. It’s a two-way thing. Oh! and there is dating right, dating the God-way… but this particular lesson is too broad for this post, so I will discuss it in another post.
10. Celibacy or Godly Piety Does not guarantee a happy relationship/marriage: Hello godly sisters and brothers! Did you hear that? Just because you met him in church does not mean he is the one. Also, just because he does not attend the same church as you does not mean he is not the one either. The truth is this, having been there and done that, I’d say, go through your Pastor. Also, take some time to fast and pray, to hear from God too… if He is the one, the Holy Spirit will bear witness in your spirit. Also, God is not an author of confusion. In the most miraculous way, what your pastor will say may just be exactly what the Holy Spirit will tell you. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:1,
“In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established”.
If at least three unique people are encouraging you or warning you about something or through revelations and spiritually/physically significant ways you have received confirmation of a matter three times, then you need to look it into it.
For times like this, the reason you need to pray and fast is to enable you to quieten the voice of deception and also be spiritually alert so you can hear clearly from God. To discern when God is speaking and when the devil is lying.
Whatever you do in life, not just about marriage and relationships, just understand that God’s desire for us is to be happy and for us to live a healthy, successful, and fulfilled life. And while some of us ladies were thought wrongly about marriage or we were thought all that we should be or do, and not what to expect in return, just remember that you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood… you are designed to have the best things of life and that includes love and marriage, so being second best or anything less than number one or top priority is not right for you.
What have you learned or unlearned about relationships or marriage?
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